Queen Emma Kāleleonālani founded the St. Andrew’s Priory School with Mother Lydia Sellon in May of 1867 to provide access to education for Hawaiʻi’s young women. At the time of the school’s inception, only the daughters of chiefs and missionaries had access to schooling. Before founding the school for girls, the Queen and her husband, King Kamehameha IV, founded Queen’s Hospital and St. Alban’s School for Boys (now ʻIolani). They were also instrumental in bringing the Anglican Church to Hawaiʻi.
In 1902, jurisdiction of St. Andrew’s Priory School was transferred to the Episcopal Church of the United States and was run by the Sisters of the American Order of the Transfiguration until 1969. Since then, both Episcopal clergy and laity have served in the position of Head of School. In 1976, The Priory became a non-profit corporation, with a Board of Trustees and a Charter of Incorporation that continues an official link with the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi. The Priory is the only Diocesan school in Hawaiʻi, however no financial support for operations is received from the Diocese.
Queen Emma Preschool, located on the Pali Highway, was added to our ʻohana in 1985, and most recently a boy’s, grades K to 5 division, St. Andrew’s Preparatory School for Boys (The Prep) opened in fall 2014. The St. Andrew’s Schools is now made up of three schools: The Priory, The Prep, and Queen Emma Preschool.
The Schools’ main campus is located in downtown Honolulu adjacent to The Cathedral of St. Andrew, next to the State Capitol and Washington Place. It is a small urban campus that offers access to a wealth of downtown learning opportunities. Queen Emma Preschool educates children ages 2 to 5 at its Pali Highway location offering a lush setting and expansive play space as well as being conveniently located between the Windward side and downtown Honolulu.
St. Andrew’s is governed under the auspices of the Episcopal Church by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees comprised of community leaders, alumnae, and past parents, of which the Bishop and Head of School are ex-officio members